Giant thermal expansion and alpha-precipitation pathways in Ti-alloys

Year: 
2017
Month: 
11
Day: 
15
Pages: 
ARTN 1429
DOI: 
10.1038/s41467-017-01578-1
Type: 
Journal Articles
Journal: 
Nature Communications
Volume: 
8
Abstract: 

Ti-alloys represent the principal structural materials in both aerospace development and metallic biomaterials. Key to optimizing their mechanical and functional behaviour is in-depth know-how of their phases and the complex interplay of diffusive vs. displacive phase transformations to permit the tailoring of intricate microstructures across a wide spectrum of configurations. Here, we report on structural changes and phase transformations of Ti–Nb alloys during heating by in situ synchrotron diffraction. These materials exhibit anisotropic thermal expansion yielding some of the largest linear expansion coefficients (+ 163.9×10−6 to −95.1×10−6 °C−1) ever reported. Moreover, we describe two pathways leading to the precipitation of the α-phase mediated by diffusion-based orthorhombic structures, α″lean and α″iso. Via coupling the lattice parameters to composition both phases evolve into α through rejection of Nb. These findings have the potential to promote new microstructural design approaches for Ti–Nb alloys and β-stabilized Ti-alloys in general.